It was in mid-March that the state of Nevada decided to shut down casinos and other non-essential businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. With the shutdown came the loss of many jobs, as the casino gaming industry is the main source of income for the state, as well as major cities like Las Vegas and Reno. In Nevada, 219 gambling facilities are now closed, and employees are left without payment, having to rely on unemployment benefits. Well, it seems the state was not prepared to pay and those who have filed are still waiting for benefits.
Once the casinos began shutting down, some operators announced plans to continue paying their employees. The Wynn Resorts company and Las Vegas Sands announced they would be paying their employees for a short time after the closure, but others were forced to layoff the majority of their workers. Caesars Entertainment decided to let go around 90% of their workforce and MGM Resorts furloughed around 60,000 individuals.
The massive number of unemployed workers has caused a delay in payments. According to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, the casino sector has just over 200,000 employees in need of financial assistance from the state. Add in the number of other layoffs and that number grows significantly higher. The organization has been extremely busy as they try to help the state’s residents as they panic over trying to file their unemployment compensation application.
With no money coming in, people who were getting by with each paycheck are worrying how they will get their next meal. The good news is that once payments are made, money will be provided from the start of the unemployment period, so it will be more than a typical check. However, for those who have no savings and no money coming in, the situation is quite dire.
The governor has helped in some way by issuing an executive order so that no one can be evicted at this time, during a national emergency. This will give those who are unemployed time to catch up once the payments are issued.
More Staff to Assist
The group handling the unemployment claims have reported increased their staff members and have started to remain open for longer periods of time in order to help those affected. The number of claims is too much to handle in a normal situation so added measures have been taken.
Dr. Tiffany Tyler-Garner is the director of the DETR who apologized recently for the volume and are working to ensure the process will be mitigated by offering more support, staff and extended hours of operation.
Along with unemployment benefits, the federal government is stepping in and offering additional funds. With the release of money provided by Congress, those in need will have a boost that will hopefully help during this trying time.